Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dance lessons

I didn’t join the blue-dressed, barefoot girl
as she pranced alone upon her toes
at the after-wedding dance last Saturday
her male and female partners coming, going.
Neither did I sidle up beside the five men coalesced
each dancing self-obsessed with Saint Vitus
nor crib some space among the solo swayers
nor nudge aside the twos and threesomes.
But this odd menagerie of motion
led me to a dance floor long ago
where matrons with a record player
showed spotty boys and girls with sweaty palms
where to place their feet and hands
should a waltz be struck up by the band.

Funny how memories are triggered – anyone else experience the dance lessons of a previous age? I seem to remember they were pretty excruciating all round.

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  1. Oh, I do, I do! We were made to wear gloves (I'm sure this was before your parents were born!) and most of the girls were taller than the boys, and almost as annoyed as they at having to be there. Were your chairs gilded?

  2. I do have some of those memories from my boarding school days, which were pretty much compulsory everything ... And then I saw Strictly Ballroom and my whole 'dance world view' underwent a seismic shift!

  3. It's taken me three readings to fully appreciate this poem as a doorway to the past. Must be because we weren't refined enough to do waltzes at school...


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